Texas Tech University

David D. Perlmutter

Media & Communication

Email: david.perlmutter@ttu.edu

Phone: +1.806.834.8582

Ph.D., School of Journalism & Mass Communication, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, 1996
M.A., Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania, 1991
B.A., Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania (cum laude), 1985

View CV

David Perlmutter


From July 2013 to July 2023, David D. Perlmutter, Ph.D. served dean of the College of Media & Communication (CoMC) at Texas Tech University. He received his B.A. ('85) and M.A. ('91) from the University of Pennsylvania and his Ph.D. ('96) from the University of Minnesota. He is the son of two professors and so likes to think of academia as his “family business.” Perlmutter has been described by a Chronicle of Higher Education editor as a “household name among American professors” because of the widespread readership of some two decades of his writings on academic careers and higher education processes for the Chronicle and other publications. His previous leadership positions include director, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Iowa (2009 to 2013) and associate dean for graduate studies (LSU, Kansas).

His administrative achievements and metrics include co-designing several Ph.D. programs and supervising both professional- and thesis-track M.A. programs, on campus, online, and at distance locations, and an innovative Fundraising & Philanthropy Communication undergraduate certificate program (at Iowa). At Texas Tech, his college has seen unprecedented growth in all metrics, including rank of admitted students, graduate and undergraduate enrollment, offsite and online offerings, retention and graduation rates, grant applications, and multidisciplinary research partnerships. The college achieved its 2025 federal sponsored research funding goals in fall 2020, rising from $45,000 when he started to over $1.6 million in fiscal year 2020. Also in 2020, the college exceeded its private-giving target. CoMC was rated the highest ranked research unit at TTU among all units, including the humanities, social sciences, and STEM, by the Global Ranking of Academic Subjects (Shanghai Index). The online master's program that CoMC started became the fastest growing graduate program in the history of Texas Tech. The college has achieved among the highest rates of retention and lowest times to degree for undergraduate students. CoMC started unique teaching partnerships with the Rawls College of Business and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center's School of Nursing. Perlmutter is consistently rated among the highest performing deans in the university by his faculty in the annual Faculty Senate survey. Perlmutter chaired the TTU search committees for successful hires of provost and three college deanships (Arts & Sciences, Libraries, Visual and Performing Arts).

Perlmutter is the author or editor of ten books on political communication, new media technologies, and higher education published by, among others, Palgrave, Oxford, and Harvard University Press. He also published several dozen research articles for academic journals. He was co-principal investigator for about $800,000 in grants through the Kansas Transportation Institute. At Louisiana State University, he edited a political communication book series and won two faculty awards, including the main campus-wide award for research, teaching, and service. He has been twice elected to chair the research committee of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), one of his field's leading professional associations.

For public engagement, Perlmutter ran several prominent programs at the Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas. He served on the board of two university book presses. He also wrote a feature on “Managing with Millennials,” dealing with generational challenges in the workplace, for a business magazine. Perlmutter has been interviewed by most major news networks and newspapers, from the New York Times to CNN and ABC, and was a featured guest on “The Daily Show.” He was a keynote speaker at varying interdisciplinary and interprofessional venues such as a New England Journal of Medicine conference on medical education of the future, a U.S. State Department tour of Europe, the annual meeting of the major association for retired and emeritus faculty, and many promotion-and-tenure workshops at other universities. He regularly speaks at industry, academic, and government meetings and runs workshops on personal and institutional branding via social media, visual persuasion, and higher education issues including fundraising. He has served as an executive coach for universities and hospitals.

He has been recognized for his leadership. In 2018, Perlmutter was bestowed with the Texas Tech President's Excellence in Gender Equity Award for advancing gender diversity, inclusion, and equity in his college. In 2017, he was elected vice president of AEJMC by the membership and served a term as president in 2019–2020. In 2021, he was the keynote speaker for the National Conference of Academic Deans.




Overall, I study persuasion through media. This includes:

  • Visual Communication
  • Political Communication
  • New and Emerging Media
  • Media History

Among my signature areas have been the study of news icons, social media and politics, and social media and health.


  • Content Analysis
  • In-Depth Interviews
  • Field Observation
  • Ethnography/Autoethnography

Research Areas

  • Media, Public Policy, and Public Affairs
  • Social media
  • Health communication
  • Political communication
  • Visual communication

Selected Publications

Teaching Focus

  • Political Communication
  • Survey of Media & Communication
  • Qualitative Methods
  • Ph.D. Proseminar

Grants & Awards

  • TTU 2017-2018 President's Excellence in Gender Equity Award.

  • 2013 CAMWS (Classical Association of the Middle West and South) Special Service Award. [Honors “classicists or non-classicists who have made special contributions to the promotion of Latin and Classical studies, especially at the state and local level, in CAMWS territory.”] http://www.camws.org/awards/service.php

  • Niagara Foundation, 2013. Funding for two academic outreach trips to Turkey (about $20,000)

  • International Programs Faculty Fellow, University of Iowa, Fall 2012-Spring 2013

  • Niagara Foundation, 2012. Funding for journalism faculty and practitioners outreach trip to Turkey (about $20,000)

  • Principal Investigator, “Training Minority Students from Chicago in Iowa Journalism Workshops,” McCormick Foundation, 2013 (about $20,000)

  • Principal Investigator, “Training Minority Students from Chicago in Iowa Journalism Workshops,” McCormick Foundation, 2012 (about $12,500)

  • Principal Investigator, “Training Minority Students from Chicago in Iowa Journalism Workshops,” McCormick Foundation, 2011 (about $12,500)

  • Principal Investigator, “Create an iPhone App” class tech funding, Academic Technologies Advisory Council 2009 Innovations in Teaching with Technology Award by Iowa Information Technology Services (about $6,500)

  • Principal Investigator, “2008 University of Kansas Transportation Research Institute Presidential & Congressional Forum” (about $43,000)

  • Co-Principal Investigator, “Development of an Interactive E-training Program for Work Zone Safety and Mobility,” University of Kansas Transportation Research Institute, 2008-2009 (about $130,000)

  • Co-Principal Investigator, “Improving Highway Workzone Safety,” University of Kansas Transportation Research Institute, 2008-2009 (about $180,000)

  • Principal Investigator, “Can Blog Usership Increase Newspaper Readership?” Funding by John S. and James L. Knight Foundation as part of the Carnegie-Knight Initiative on the Future of Journalism Education, 2006-2007 ($9,200)

  • Co-Principal Investigator, “Driver Safety and the Boomer Dilemma: ‘Advanced Driver Training' as Addressing the Attention Challenge,” University of Kansas Transportation Research Institute, 2006 (about $127,000)

  • LSU Press Professorship, 2003-2006 ($6,000 renewed yearly)

  • LSU Distinguished Faculty Award for Teaching, Research & Service, 2001 ($1,000)

  • Mary Poindexter Research Professorship, 2000-2001 ($6,000)

  • Douglas Manship Research Professorship, 1998-2000 ($6,000)

  • Lee Griffin Research Professorship, 1997-1998 ($2,000)

  • Tiger Athletic Foundation Undergraduate Teaching Award, 1997-1998

  • LSU Incentive Grant for Teaching Innovation, 1996, “Evaluating Student Internship Expectations & Performance: A Pilot Study for Building an Attitude Scale” ($2,500)

  • LSU Summer Research Stipend, 1996, “The Pictorial Portrayal of the People's Republic of China in the Washington Post” ($4,000)

  • C-SPAN Winter Seminar for Professors, 1996, Conference invitation to Washington, D.C. and grant

  • Sorority-Fraternity “Best” Faculty Teaching Appreciation Award, 1994, University of Minnesota

  • Kriss Research Grant, 1993, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
  • University of Minnesota Graduate School and Frances Andrews Fund Grant for Research Abroad, 1992, “Formal and Thematic Styles of Photography in the People's Republic of China”